Before I renew the festivities here in my corner of the blogosphere, I would be remiss if I did not pause for a moment to pay tribute to State Representative Richard O. Belden, who passed away suddenly yesterday.
Representative Belden was the longest serving member of the House in the history of the Connecticut General Assembly, earning him the title "Dean of the House." But that is not why he has earned a place in history or why we should remember him and his service.
His voice in Connecticut government was more meaningful than it was powerful. His service was more substantial than it was glorious. Belden always did what he did out of a sense of decency, moral obligation, and a firm commitment to honor the oath of office he took seventeen times. In him you did not get a politician who was constantly positioning himself and repositioning himself in order to pander to certain groups, or obtain higher office.
Dick Belden was one of the very few Republicans in the General Assembly that could recall the brief ascension of the GOP to the majority in 1985-86. In fact, he served as Deputy Speaker.
The ideals and beliefs that he stood for are the very backbone of what will bring Republicans back to a majority sooner than many may believe.
God bless Richard Belden, and may God care for his wife and family in this time of loss.